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Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11 Review RSS Feed

Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11

Reviews Views Date of last review
8 46,445 Sat May 27, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
75% of reviewers $158.29 6.38
Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11

Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11
Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11


This lens has a field of view of 180 degrees and it covers the 24x36mm full frame image area. The aperture ring only has four positions (11, 16, 22, and 32). The diaphragm is a perforated disc with a perfectly circular opening for each of the four F-stop settings.

The lens has fixed focus and thus no focusing ring.

Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Aperture Ring
4 elements, 3 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Plain
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

Full frame: 180 °
Not possible
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
60 x 12 mm
98 g
Production Years
1963 to 1967
Engraved Name
Fish-Eye-Takumar 1:11/18
Product Code
356, 43560
User reviews
The diaphragm is a perforated disc with perfectly circular openings
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportAdapter needed for DSLRsDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of Fish-Eye-Takumar 18mm F11
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-8 of 8
New Member

Registered: March, 2023
Posts: 15
Review Date: May 27, 2023 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: It's weird and full of character. Artistically challenging
Cons: IMHO needs a separate focusing helicoid to unlock its potential
Sharpness: 4    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 9    Value: 4    Camera Used: Sony ILCE-7M3   

It's a very niche lens and I love mine. Comes with plenty of baggage when compared to modern alternatives, like crazy flare, slow aperture choices, and extreme softness. But if you're into challenges and willing to accept imperfection, it's a fun way to experiment and experience a piece of history. Lenses offering much higher image quality can be had for less expense, so think of it like purchasing a ticket to experience something interesting from the past.

Although it wrecks the hyperfocal pancake design intent, I found it was a lot more fun to use with a 17-31mm focusing helicoid as well as a No. 1 Asahi Opt. Co. Extension tube on a Sony A7III. I really enjoyed using it for "macro-type" close ups. Just be careful to not scratch that front element! A gooey leaf brushed up against mine, but luckily some Zeiss fluid cleaned it up like new. Unfortunately, that configuration means a narrow flange distance is required, which isn't available on a DSLR. Thank goodness for mirrorless flexibility.

I feel like the price I paid was probably too much if all I cared about was IQ, but I really enjoyed the experience and challenge of using an extremely old Fish-eye. Plus I have Takumaritis.

Junior Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Nanaimo b.c.
Posts: 34
Review Date: June 17, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 10 



(Taken from FB Marketplace - a guy selling it in Vancouver B.C., Canada)

Asahi Takumar 18mm f11 fish-eye lens - super tiny and rare!
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Cotati, California USA
Posts: 4,434
Review Date: September 14, 2020 Recommended | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Thin, thin lens.
Cons: f11 is the minimum aperture

I've had this lens around for a number of years. Haven't used it very much. It has no focus only an f-stop ring going between f11-f32. There is no way that I can see estimate bokeh because the focus is fixed and so I gave it a 1 on bokeh. It would have been better to day N/A on that.

It's definitely a fish eye lens and the usual barreling is very present in images. Unless you really have to have a M42 mount fish eye, the Pentax K 17mm f4 is a better choice.

It is very very thin. I estimate it at about 10mm when mounted on my K-1II and K-3.

Registered: February, 2014
Posts: 354

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 9, 2019 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: bonkers coverage for its era
Cons: slow
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 8    Value: 7    Camera Used: Spotmatic II   

I have only ever used this lens on my Spotmatics, but do not anticipate it would be of much use on my K-S1, for which I use the Pentax fish-eye zoom. However I have taken some excellent photos on film ( York station roof comes to mind). Abberations are intentional, so leaving a score for that is a bit misleading, but sharpness is quite acceptable. Remember this lens dates from a time when computers were not used to compute lens design, and considering the lens has only fours elements, it is a miracle it can produce what it does! Very compact, and at its time of release echoed an era when fish-eyes were all the rage-just look at the contemporary pop-group album sleeves of the time! However it is slow with an f11 aperture, so bright days only, or a firm tripod.

Whether you should buy this for your digital SLR is debatable since the modern Pentax Zoom fish-eye will wipe the floor with it. But for film, ot the collector, it is recommended. Just think hippy-trippy flower-power and you get the message.
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Posts: 8

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 6, 2019 Recommended | Price: $129.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, interesting lens signature to it.
Cons: Slow
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 1    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Spotmatic   

plural noun: aberrations
a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically one that is unwelcome.

Since it's a fisheye, I think everything ANY fisheye lens produces qualifies as having aberrations - so I don't like having to rate it for aberrations. It's a very unique lens, with it's own unique look to it. It reminds me of the Holga
WOCA model with the glass lens - there is a distinct look to this lens.
Shot wide open at f11

It was the one lens that I was missing. I think it's better than the prior reviewers thought of it - but I accept this lens for it's uniqueness. I would not like seeing a roll of 35 images with this lens, but it DOES serve a purpose and I do think it is a good lens to have on hand.

Your mileage may vary.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2013
Location: North Potomac, MD
Posts: 1,350

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 11, 2017 Recommended | Price: $109.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Size (a true Pancake), Rounded Fisheye Effect, Center Sharpness
Cons: Corner and Edge Softness, Vignetting, Slow

This lens hasn't been reviewed in a while and there are few examples out there showing it's true rendering. I am going to respectfully deviate from the other reviewers and offer some perspective and hopefully a fresh look at this unusual optic.

True, the edges and corners are soft and there is some vignetting due to the image circle not quite covering the corners. And yes, wide open at f/11 is relatively slow, and the image quality does improve significantly as you stop down. But the overall presentation is, I believe, beautiful and artistic. It gives a full rounded fisheye effect, I think more so than its 17mm f/4 cousin. The center sharpness is actually quite good with a fairly high degree of contrast which diminishes as the edges are approached. And because of its limitations, it's actually quite easy and somewhat liberating to use as there's no focusing and only 4 click-stop aperture settings; you don't get bogged down fiddling with exposure setting options.

This lens is a true pancake, almost appearing as a body cap, therefore extremely compact; the only lens I believe is smaller is the DA 40mm XS.

I feel this lens doesn't pretend to be anything more than what you get which is a circa-1963 pancake fisheye lens that when used within its limitations gives pleasing results and is fun to use.

Here are two examples at f/22, shot with a Pentax H1a loaded with Arista.EDU 400 (the old Forte version):


Loyal Site Supportaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 503

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 23, 2014 Not Recommended | Price: $230.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Tiny - really, really tiny.
Cons: Extremely slow, cannot optimize focus for close-ups.
Sharpness: 3    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 1    Handling: 10    Value: 3   

The very first thing you need to know about this lens is that there are a huge number out there that are internally degraded. Separation and edge-black flaking are more the norm than the exception. If you want to actually use one of these, prepare to hunt for one without the usual problems.

(July 2014 - review rewritten based on digital Full-Frame testing.)
This lens is good for: 1. Collections as a historic item. It makes for a great showpiece in the display cabinet. 2. If you get one cheap and want a really tiny lens that takes up practically no space in your bag - and you are shooting stationary subjects from a tripod at moderate distances at F22 or 32. Don't even think about using this lens at F11. Any passable shot requires a trip to slowsville.

APS-C: Fair at F22 or 32. Color rendition and sharpness are best in the center. Doesn't handle high dynamic range well. Direct sun produces veiling.

Full-Frame: IQ deteriorates rapidly towards the edges and aberrations can smear over 1 degree. Image circle doesn't quite cover the extreme corners.

As an alternate, a good copy of a S-M-C or SMC 17/4 it's almost as small, and has superior overall performance.

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Posts: 357

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 22, 2011 Not Recommended | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Pancake lens, nice body cap that can take pictures
Cons: extremly slow, lacks of sharpness

It is said to be the first fish eye lens that covers the 24x36 format. It is also the only fish eye pancake lens.
Apart from these historical points, this lens is not really usable : extremely slow with a f/11 max aperture, not very sharp and clearly blurred corners (visible in the viewfinder !). Its best (or less worse) aperture on my K100D is f/22 (at f/16 it is sharper in the center but corners are not that good), so due to the diffraction, you won't get great pictures. Curiously, it seem to be quite good when used on film (but extreme corners are not covered, see my samples). It also has poor flare resistance and color rendition, so I would say it is just a collector's lens.
Samples :
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